My Mistake

Great post by Roger Von Oech on Creative Think today : Embrace failure.

Errors serve a useful purpose: they tell us when to change direction. When things go smoothly, we generally don’t think about them. To a great extent, this is because we function according to the principle of negative feedback.


Scott Berkun made a very interesting essay on a pretty tangential issue : admitting mistakes.

I used to do twice as many mistakes : doing them and then not admitting it.

When I started to admit them, whole-heartedly, I realised that I became more cautious in not doing the same again. In addition, it made the relationships much smoother both in my professional and personal life.

The only problem is when you deal with people that don’t similarly admit their own. It gets really annoying because you think that by publicly accepting yours (which is always a bitter pill to swallow) they realise how much it contributes to ease the relationship.

But they don’t, and instead take advantage of the situation, insisting on the ones you’ve admitted willingly. This is dead unfair and quite frustrating.

I found this happening many times in my job. I dont want to sound too negative with my fellow citizens, but in France c’est de ma faute (it’s my fault) is one of the two things you’re the least likely to be told by a colleague. The other one being je suis vraiment content que ca marche pour toi (I’m so happy with you being successful).

Did this happen to you as well ? How did you deal with such unfair situation whereby you admit your mistakes to people that never do likewise and take advantage of this ?


  1. Plutôt d’accord. J’ajoute que je n’aurais sans doute jamais accepté de dire “it’s my fault” sans les blogs. C’est quelque chose que j’ai découvert avec stupéfaction, puis pratiqué le rouge aux joues. Maintenant, je suis persuadé que ceux qui n’acceptent pas publiquement leurs erreurs ne sont pas de vrais blogueurs (j’ai un exemple en tête…;-)).

  2. Merci pour ce commentaire André.

    Ici je parle plus de reconnaitre ses erreurs dans le cadre professionnel que dans celui du blogging (qui reste finalement sans conséquence). Et c’est encore moins facile.

    En même temps cela représente un test interessant pour jauger de l’aptitude de ses interlocuteurs à travailler en bonne intelligence. Mon vécu me ferait dire que cela est plus fréquent chez les anglo-saxons : la raison pour laquelle je préfère travailler en leur compagnie. Mais c’est juste un sentiment inspiré de l’expérience, rien de catégorique là-dedans.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s